MORE HANDYMAN FLUE PIPE WORK: CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT GETS WINDY?

Sometimes, I see the nuttiest things when it comes to handyman repairs. Case-in-point: I recently came across a pair of metal corrugated flue pipes on a rooftop in San Juan County that penetrated the chimney chase.

Aside from having an “alien-like” quality in appearance, they were also not properly terminated or secured.

Do you have questions or comments about home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

TREAD LIGHTLY IN YOUR ATTIC TO HELP LESSEN UTILITY BILLS

If you are looking to save some money on utilities, a wise place to start is with insulation. A properly insulated home can save you coin and keep you warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. 

All of my inspections included poking around in crawl spaces and attics to check insulation levels. During a recent inspection of a home in Freeland, I came across a house that had adequate insulation levels in the attic, but portions of it were compressed (likely from someone walking on it). 

I recommended my clients insulate these areas for improved thermal efficiency because compressed insulation can reduce the “R” value of insulation (lessening its effectiveness). 

If you have questions or comments about insulation, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: NOT A BAD PLACE TO SPEND A SATURDAY

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitteror Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Fun Facts Friday

It took 22 years to build the Taj Mahal. They began building it in 1631 and it was completed in 1653 and there were 20,000 workers who helped.

In 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General (PMG).

The Indian Ocean’s average depth is 12,990 feet (3,960 metres), and its deepest point, in the Sunda Deep of the Java Trench off the southern coast of Java, is 24,442 feet (7,450 metres).

DOING YOUR ELECTRICAL WORK? BE CAREFUL!

Surprisingly, electrical issues are common discoveries at home inspections, with the most common being improperly wired switches, outlets, and handyman/unprofessional wiring practices. Purchasing an outlet tester (costs less than $10) is a simple, quick way to determine if your home’s outlets are correctly wired. You’ll probably be surprised to find a few in your home! Unless you’re entirely confident and competent, I recommend hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician to perform any and all electrical work. 

If you DIY and your work doesn’t appear professional (think PERFECT), it will likely be called out by a home inspector when your home is sold. Competent electricians are fastidious and “fussy” with their work (it’s their signature after all), and there’s nothing better than a “fussy” electrician I like to say! 

Be sure to check with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, as most electrical work requires a permit and final inspection. Permits are easily obtainable and inexpensive. Furthermore, having a third-party review of electrical work is just another layer of safety and insulation against potential future electrical issues. Plus, it’s the law! Finally, for the DIY homeowners out there, a great book is “For Pros by Pros: Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell. I’ve relied on this book for years of building and remodeling. It’s excellent!

If you have questions or comments about electrical work, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

WATCH YOUR STEP: HANDYMAN RAMP NEEDS REPAIR

Frequently, handyman construction practices are undertaken to make life easier for home residents. A lot of the time, these “fixes” work just fine. Occasionally, however, there needs to be corrective action taken because of safety concerns.

I encountered just such a scenario during a recent home inspection on Fidalgo Island. I noticed handyman construction practices at a ramp from the garage interior to the home, which I considered a potential safety issue because the boards deflected a lot when I walked on them. When I note these types of things, I always recommend further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor in my reports.

If you have questions or comments about handyman construction practices, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: EARLY MORNING VIEW

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

GOOD TRY, BUT SOME REPAIRS ARE BEST LEFT TO THE PROS

While I appreciate it when homeowners attempt to take on handyman repairs on their own, sometimes it’s best to leave things to the professionals.

Case in point: during a recent inspection on Shaw Island, I noticed handyman plumbing practices at a copper supply line within the kitchen sink base cabinet. Its execution left a bit to be desired. 

If you have questions or comments about plumbing issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).